Full course description

Summary
Before moving into other more complex subjects, it is crucial that students build on what has been learned in the three scripture courses. It is also essential to understand the universally accepted doctrines of the Christian church.

This course considers the doctrines and dogmas of the church that are built on the foundation of scripture. It is not a mere dry study of facts and concepts, but a vibrant consideration of faith, and the practical extensions of how beliefs affect the Christian life. Students will be engaged in thinking and understanding their faith in greater ways, so that they might better be able to articulate their faith, and to be better equipped in thinking about their ministries and callings.

In addition, two weeks will be spent on the basics of Baptist identity and heritage.

Content
This is an introduction to theology. It is not a comprehensive look at theology, nor is it a systematic approach to theology. It is a broad and ecumenical approach to the beliefs of the Christian faith.

The primary text for the course introduces the major doctrines of the Christian faith, "revelation and Scripture, God, creation, human beings, Jesus, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the church, and final Christian hope,” and does so in a way that is “ordered loosely in line with the biblical narrative.” The goal being to naturally move through the major tenants of the Christian faith in a progressive manner.

The last two weeks of the course will be spent on the basics of Baptist identity and heritage. This is not an indoctrination or argument for certain Baptist doctrines, but rather is an overview of the views that are core to the identity of Baptists. That many (if not all) of these things are in keeping with broad evangelical beliefs, makes this a useful study regardless of a student’s denominational background.

Students will be asked to do most work in short answer form - generally 1-3 paragraphs. This will often require a student to define terms in their own words, explain and summarize concepts, and use critical thinking skills to apply the studied subjects. Certain areas in the course may be challenging for some, depending on an individual’s personal faith and background, but overall this course should not be perceived as being intimidating.

Students will be asked to engage in thinking carefully about their faith, and this may cause previously unchallenged beliefs to be considered in depth. 
 
Prerequisites
This is an introductory course, and the fourth part of the Certificate of Ministry Program’s six core courses. 

It is recommended that students take CMP01, CMP02, and CMP03 prior to this course.

Textbooks Used
For this course students will utilize two textbooks which are provided.

            Jones, Beth Felker. Practicing Christian Doctrine: An Introduction to Thinking and Living Theologically. Baker Academic, 2014

            Tuck, William Powell. Our Baptist Tradition. Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc., 2005

 
Time frame
This course is structured to be completed in 12 weeks, though a self-paced student's speed may vary based on individual learning pace and priorities.

 
What is included
The registration fee for this course covers all technology fees, administration costs, course registration fees, and book fees. It is an all inclusive price that includes everything a student needs to pursue a Certificate of Ministry through Truett Seminary at Baylor University.

There are no additional fees, taxes, or additional paid resources that will be required.
 
About the Certificate of Ministry Program 
The Certificate of Ministry Program (CMP) is meant to be a self-paced, distance learning program. Course work involves reading and using a variety of online and/or video resources, and then there are accessible assignments based on those materials. As a non-accredited program, academic grades and credit are not received, but quality feedback is provided for all assignments to foster effective learning and to offer encouraging motivation. Students are encouraged to participate in the online community for each course, and to pursue developing their own personal community of learning with the input of a mentor or peers.
 
Goals and Benefits
This program is here to shepherd you through a journey of growth in understanding and knowledge and you will have access to the a variety of resources and wisdom through the seminary community. Our goal is to help ministers and lay people of all kinds pursue knowledge, personal faith, and ministry effectiveness. In addition students become a part of the Truett Seminary community and the legacy of Truett and Baylor University.

We want our students to be equipped and confident in faith, understanding, and ministry effectiveness.